HC Deb 14 July 1971 vol 821 cc477-8
13. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many new primary schools have been started in the last six months ; and what were the comparable figures for each of the last 10 years.

Mr. Edward Taylor

In the six-month period to 31st May 17 new primary schools were started. With permission I shall publish the answer to the second part of the Question in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

The additional public works programme announced by my right hon. Friend yesterday will enable additional primary school building to be undertaken.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman give the House now the comparable figures for 1964 and 1969? Can he also say whether it is the policy of the Scottish Office to allocate the money it is getting from stealing the milk from primary school children to the building of additional primary schools, as has been indicated by the Secretary of State for Education and Science is to be done in England? The right hon. Lady has said that she intends to spend the milk money on primary school building. Why cannot the Scottish Office do the same in Scotland?

Mr. Taylor

The hon. Member's attitude is outrageous. We inherited a school building programme which we immediately confirmed. We added £4½ million for 1972–73. Yesterday my right hon. Friend announced even more. All the detailed figures will be printed in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The current figure is 17 ; I do not have all the figures handy, but I can give that for December, 1969, to May, 1970, when right hon. Gentlemen opposite were in charge—13.

Mr. Buchan

Would the hon. Gentleman answer the second part of the question? His right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science in England said that the savings on meals and milk would go on primary schools. When asked whether she really meant that, she said, "No, it is just an intellectual exercise that we run when there is nothing else to be said." Would he agree with that?

Mr. Taylor

I do not always rely on the hon. Gentleman for quotations from my right hon. Friend. What is obvious is that the additional resources which have been made available by our financial policies have contributed towards a situation in which we can spend more on primary schools.

Following are the figures :

New Primary Schools Started :
Period No. of Schools
December, 1960-May, 1961 20
December, 1961-May, 1962 7
December, 1962-May, 1963 24
December, 1963-May, 1964 22
December, 1964-May, 1965 29
December, 1965-May, 1966 29
December, 1966-May, 1967 39
December, 1967-May, 1968 36
December, 1968-May, 1969 22
December, 1969-May, 1970 13